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AL Outfielders: Day Six
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

American League Outfielders without Positive Draft Value

Quick Key to the tables:
B = Bats.  T = Throws.  Age = Player's Age as of October 1, 2006.
Proj. = Rotohelp's projected 2006 stats and fantasy values for each player.
2006 = Each player's final 2006 stat line and fantasy values.
AB = At-bats.  H = Hits.  BA = Batting Average.  HR= Home Runs.
RBI = Runs Batted In.  SB = Stolen Bases.  R = Runs.
Pos = Position qualification based on 20 appearances or max. # of games in 2006.
4x4 = BA, HR, RBI, and SB in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
5x5 = BA, HR, RBI, SB, and R in 12-team, $260 leagues with 23-man rosters.
RAR = Runs Above Replacement; aRAR = RAR adjusted to
consider a player's 2006 defensive rating in Scoresheet fantasy baseball.

We ranked players by position in order from the highest draft value in a 4x4 league to the lowest. As the majority of fantasy leagues allow you to keep anyone traded to the other league, we listed all players in the league where they began the season.

93.  Dustan MohrBOS Red SoxAge: 30B:R   T:R

The journeyman outfielder lost his spot with the Red Sox upon Gabe Kapler's return to the States. While he still owns a decent skill foundation, Mohr obviously needs regular playing time to take advantage of his limited talents. Signing with the Devil Rays might provide him that opportunity, but if Jonny Gomes returns to full health, I don't see Mohr succeeding in the Damon Hollins role. Last year Mohr only managed a .238/.347/.405 performance in 252 at-bats in the AAA International League, so despite his decent patience and power, continued contact problems make him a risky play at best. You don't want to own him unless you can trade significant BA for the relatively meager quantitative contribution that Mohr offers.

94.  Darin ErstadLA AngelsAge: 32B:L   T:L

While the White Sox gave Erstad only $1M in guaranteed money, playing him over Brian Anderson, a superb defender and developing young batter, might cost Chicago a playoff berth in 2007. Erstad has managed just one reasonably good season in the six years since his superb 2000 campaign. He owns little power, unimpressive plate discipline, and after missing the vast majority of 2006 with ankle problems that required surgery in October, may no longer possess much speed at all. However, with a .286 career BA that will receive a little boost in Chicago, coupled with his move to the best park for left-handed power hitters in the game, he may post surprisingly good roto value. I don't recommend Erstad because of his weak skills, but if you see him available to fill an outfield slot during Dollar Days, he might turn a tidy profit for you.

95.  Brian AndersonCH White SoxAge: 28B:S   T:R

Seemingly prepared for the majors after posting a .295/.360/.469 performance in 448 AB for AAA Charlotte(IL) in 2005, Anderson bombed in Chicago, contributing almost nothing at the plate for much of the year. Yet he excelled defensively, and until completely melting down in September, improved his OPS in each of the preceding months, peaking at a .296/.367/.437 output in 71 August at-bats. As he only turns 25 in March, I fully expect him to boost his OPS by as much as a hundred points in his sophomore campaign, creating a superb opportunity for speculators. Yes, he could lose his starting job to Darin Erstad, Ryan Sweeney, or even Jerry Owens, but given Scott Podsednik's latest injury, Anderson appears quite likely to break camp in the majors unless he completely bombs during spring training. I fully expect him to emerge as the next young contributor on the White Sox by mid-season, making him a nice pickup almost anywhere below $10.

96.  Jeremy ReedSEA MarinersAge: 25B:L   T:L

The foolish additions of Joses Guillen and Vidro leave only a single roster spot available for Reed, Mike Morse, Oswaldo Navarro, Michael Garciaparra, Sean Burroughs, and anyone else the Mariners bring to camp. Of course, Reed fits better than the others as an outstanding defensive outfielder fully capable of contributing off the bench given his formerly excellent plate discipline. Yet after his struggles over the last two years, which culminated in the season-ending broken thumb he suffered last July, Reed's future appears highly in doubt. He really needs a trade somewhere like Florida, removing him from the seemingly toxic environment of Seattle, home of a franchise with delusions of contention that should result in a complete front office housecleaning by October, possibly culminating in the departure of Ichiro as a free agent. With all these distractions for the Mariners, Reed appears a surprisingly poor bet in 2006, and while his upside intrigues me given his minor league numbers and the fact he only turns 26 in June, bidding more than a few bucks is a mistake. Even a trade to the Marlins or Astros wouldn't push his projected value into double digits.

97.  Terrence LongNY YankeesAge: 30B:L   T:L

Long barely belongs at AAA after his shockingly stagnant performance during his peak years, which explains why he didn't even land a minor league deal until late last March. He remains unemployed now, which also doesn't surprise me following his .269/.318/.425 output in 308 International League at-bats. Even the Yankees quickly turned to their unproven homegrown talent rather than risk deploying Long every day, so regardless of where he lands in 2007, do not roster him anywhere.

98.  Laynce NixTEX/MILAge: 25B:L   T:L

Perhaps the most interesting facet of Nix's profile is that he only turned 26 in September, so he still could regain his lost offensive skills. Last April he slipped from the Rangers' starting centerfielder to the minors within three weeks, and his move to Milwaukee in the Carlos Lee deal provides a needed fresh start for the former prospect. Yes, his plate discipline remains weak at best, but at least he managed a respectable .297/.347/.506 performance with 17 HR, 68 RBI, and a 22:95 BB:K in 354 AB between AAA Oklahoma(PCL) and AAA Nashville(PCL). Nix's biggest problem is that Bill Hall, Geoff Jenkins, Corey Hart, Brady Clark, Kevin Mench, and Gabe Gross all appeared assured jobs in the Brewers' outfield, so Nix will head back to Nashville in the hope of earning a mid-season promotion. He won't merit fantasy consideration until he finally begins producing in the majors.

Designated Hitters discussed here tomorrow.

Today's Fantasy Rx: Targeting any of these players is a mistake, but I see plenty of long-term value in Anderson and Reed, making them decent buys for rebuilding clubs and anyone seeking high-risk, high-upside players as potential trade bait. Darin Erstad also could emerge as the best value among today's sextet, though realistically, merely obtaining whichever member of this trio slips into Dollar Days provides your best chance of turning a profit.

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